Colorful Kapusniak (Or, Polish Bacon, Blue Potato, and Red Cabbage Soup)

One Year: Coffee-Cardamom Layer Cake with Sweetened Condensed Milk Frosting
Two Years: Chipotle-Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos with Pomegranate Seeds and Feta
Three Years: Pumpkin Cake with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting
Four Years: Pan Con Tomate Y Manchego
Five Years: Honey Buttermilk Biscuits

Colorful Kapusniak
Makes about 8-10 servings

4 slices of thick-cut bacon
1/2 red onion, diced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 multi-colored carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 head of red cabbage, sliced into thin shreds
6 blue potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch thick chunks
1/2 cup sauerkraut
1/4 cup sauerkraut brine
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
pinch of cayenne
2 quarts chicken stock
chives, for serving
coarse dijon mustard, for serving
sourdough or other crusty bread, for serving

Heat a frying pan on medium-high, then add bacon and cook until crisp on both sides. When cooked, reserve 2 tbsp bacon fat and transfer the bacon to a plate with a paper towel to degrease. Break the bacon into little pieces, reserving for later. In a large pot on medium-low, heat the bacon fat. Add the red onion and season with sea salt and black pepper, stirring to coat and cooking until translucent. Stir in the carrots and bell pepper and cook until tender. Add red cabbage and blue potatoes, and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in sauerkraut and brine. Add tomato paste, paprika, smoked paprika, and cayenne, stirring to coat. Pour in the chicken stock and increase the heat to high, then cover. Allow the soup to come to a boil before reducing to a simmer for another 15 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Serve with bacon pieces, chives, mustard, and crusty bread.


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